We are well on our way to becoming debt-free but in the last few months our mindset on this journey has really shifted and it has made a huge difference to how we have been getting on.
When we first started it was daunting and very overwhelming. Everything I had read online was about people who smashed their debts in 24 months and are now debt-free and mortgage-free etc. But reading those posts they gave up so much time and items they loved to achieve that, I knew it would never be realistic for us. This is not to say that their approach was wrong but it made us feel as though we were failing on our journey as we were not throwing everything at it.
For us, our approach has the best of both worlds. We can still live our lives, just a toned back version of what we have done in the past and also really crack through the debts. It is a bit like when you are on a diet when you restrict everything, most of the time you end up having a binge which is worse than the occasional treat. That is the same with money, the odd treat here and there in the budget is fine as long as it doesn’t have a long term impact on what we are planning to do.
Since the turn of the year, our mindset has really changed when it comes to our debts and I think it comes down to being able to see the overall amount outstanding dropping quickly. We have been working hard to take chunks out of the debt where possible and it has started to pay off. If you are struggling to get motivated though or feel like you are just not getting to where you want to with your debts, here are our tips on how to get started.
- Remember everyone’s journey is different – Yes read how others are getting on online and taking their journey on board but that doesn’t define your journey, in the end, everyone reaches the destination differently.
- Find the right balance for you – If you don’t want to give up everything, this doesn’t mean you have failed your plans to be debt-free but are finding the right balance to tackle your debt head-on whilst living. It might take you a while to get into the rhythm of things but don’t give up.
- Don’t quit – There have been plenty of times where I have thought bugger it, it’s not worth it however I know in the long run when we get to where we are going it will be all worth it in the end. I am hoping that things will become a little easier as we start to smash through the bigger debts as that is all we have left to tackle and then we will be onto the mortgage.
Every step you take is one step in the right direction and that can be baby steps. We have found that rather than the money sitting in our bank if we are able to pay something off first it works out better as there is no temptation to spend it. This hasn’t always been the case and again is something we have come to realise over time.
There is a long way to go in our journey and I am sure there will be more bumps along the way, however, as long as we keep going forward, that is all we can ask and we know at the end the prize of being debt-free and able to retire early will outweigh everything else.
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